Ed Bott, Apologist for M$, Does it Again

Ed Bott, M$ apologist, writes, Leading PC makers confirm: no Windows 8 plot to lock out Linux.

Of course, the PC makers have no intention of locking out GNU/Linux. They could care less about GNU/Linux. It is M$ that is plotting to lock out GNU/Linux. How? By adding one more river to cross for owners of “personal computers”. How many PC owners actually go in to tweak a BIOS let alone some new technology called UEFI? How many organizations with thousands of PCs are not going to count the minutes required to disable the “feature” if they decide to migrate to GNU/Linux? This move, at the very least, increases the cost of migrating to GNU/Linux. Likely it will require a visit to every machine on the LAN instead of just booting over the network. That is a lot of work. I have been in places big enough I could not find all the PCs.

In the immortal words of Peter Plamondon of M$’s Technological Evangelism:

I paraphrase for the situation: Every PC that is shipped with our booting key is a small victory; every PC that is shipped without is a small defeat. Total victory is the universal adoption of our standards by OEMs, as this is an important step towards victory for M$ itself: “A computer on every desk and in every home running M$’s software.”

Good try, Ed, but I’m not buying it. Building in anything specific to the OS of a monopolist is dangerous. M$ has shown for decades that it doesn’t do anything that doesn’t bolster the monopoly. You should know better.

On the other hand, OEMs don’t really love M$ and I expect most of them will provide some kind of kill switch for the lock-in but it will be more work to migrate more PCs to the light.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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28 Responses to Ed Bott, Apologist for M$, Does it Again

  1. oiaohm says:

    Wahoo http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Calxeda-ECX1000-and-HP-Redstone/

    Secure boot really that is not a major problem. Really is more something for us in the Linux world to mess around with MS to get anti-trust law kicking the crud out of them.

    Calxeda, the EnergyCard in desktop design motherboard would be interesting.

    Yes each card is 16 cores with decanted sata ports per chip.

    Yes there was people who said Linux should go out and make its own support environment independent to MS. Guess what Linux has been doing for the past 8 + years. Now that developed environment everyone has been using without noticing is going to start showing self.

    This is why TV Set top boxes and so on are where Android going to be hitting from. Ubuntu is also working to get house in order for 2014 to enter that game.

    “They are offering a setup switch, it seems, to defeat the security check for anyone wanting to load Linux conventionally. But nothing has been shown to indicate that the OEMs are going to sell Linux computers.”

    What you don’t understand for the past 4 and a half years Linux distrobutions have been working with Intel and others to build a secure boot system.

    Wahoo Linux distributions don’t want to turn secure boot off they want to turn it on. Major difference they way the right to have user load there own approval keys. The means to load approval keys was in the intel reference model. MS basically should have the crap kicked out of them for acting independent to hardware designers.

    In fact the intel reference model support more signing methods than windows 8 requires and does include the means to load own keys.

    Really the thing that is hard for a lot to get Wahoo is that Linux PC sales. Most of the Linux world does not care about any more. This is seen as a dead end market.

    Set top box price range will be in future the price range of the common PC. Yes 200 dollars or less for box. Next is power usage you are aiming at 20 Watts or less for the box.

    Microsoft model don’t live at these numbers. This is why OEM are looking else where to Ubuntu, Android, Tizen and others.

    Now Wahoo how will MS live in a market where the Computer price is 200 dollars or less?

    Basically Linux has been selling in huge volumes in lots of places unnoticed Wahoo. Those areas are going to change from unnoticed to in face.

    Let the games begin.

    Intel is going to be fighting for it life in the super computer and web server market.

    Power usage vs performance vs volume is going to be the most critical metric. Yes lower power usage, lower volume in server rooms and more performance wins.

    Calxeda ECX1000 and HP Redstone would make one rocking terminal server system for Linux. Not only saving on the thin terminals also saving in the server room.

  2. twitter says:

    OEMs that stick with Microsoft are going to go out of business. HP is teetering already and we should imagine that Dell is also in the same mess because they both are hamstrung by Microsoft. The Windows 8 logo program not only locks out gnu/linux, it locks users out of every other software that Microsoft does not approve of. No serious users are going to put up with that and the vendors will go under. Microsoft has lost it.

  3. Wahoo wrote, “nothing has been shown to indicate that the OEMs are going to sell Linux computers.”

    As far as I know all major OEMs sell GNU/Linux PCs. They may not in all markets but there are many markets in the world and the major OEMs sell in all of them. I don’t consider Apple to be an OEM. They don’t even try to sell globally.

    Lenovo, for instance, in 2008 announced that it was no longer offering GNU/Linux on Lenovo.com but at the same time stated that “our committment to Linux has not changed” and “most orders for pre-loaded Linux software had come through their sales teams or business partners.” So, they cannot be bothered selling them one at a time. They still sell millions of them all over the world.

  4. Wahoo says:

    Robert Pogson posted: I am. You read it here.

    The operative term was “general public”. I agree that here we all know that Android uses the Linux kernel. What does the guy going into Office Depot to buy a new laptop really know about it and does any of that understanding affect his purchase decision? Let us say that you are more perceptive than I and hordes of people do understand that Android is Linux. When will that translate into robust sales of Linux PCs? Pick a time frame and we can vow to return to see if your prediction has come true.

    This whole discussion started in regard to OEMs adopting the secure booting method suggested by Microsoft as being a barrier to OEMs adopting Linux. They are offering a setup switch, it seems, to defeat the security check for anyone wanting to load Linux conventionally. But nothing has been shown to indicate that the OEMs are going to sell Linux computers.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Wahoo http://gigaom.com/video/android-set-top-boxes/

    What are these. Wahoo simple point android is not just phones or tablets.

    There are android tablet and netbooks as well.

    Problem here Wahoo I am hanging out with hardware makers and getting the list of planned products for the next 12 to 48 months.

    So there is a lot.

  6. Wahoo wrote, “No one is making the case to the general public about Android being a Linux derivative.”

    I am. You read it here. Anyone can find this place via Google. Reviews of products mention that Linux underlies Android, Operating System
    Linux with Google Android 2.1
    . A consumer who gives Google “what is android” will find Linux underlies Android/Linux.

  7. Wahoo says:

    No one is making the case to the general public about Android being a Linux derivative. I know that it is and you know that it is, but most people do not know that. They will never know that because there is no one to tell them and, if there were, no one really cares. They are not going to change anything themselves so the popularity of any particular phone is based on what that phone can do as it is provided by its manufacturer.

    The manufacturer controls what the phone looks like to the owner when it is turned on. They all pretty much look the same to me whether it is an iPhone, Android from Samsung, Hitachi, Sony, or others, or a BlackBerry. I will say that the Microsoft phones look a little different, with the big squares, but I don’t know if that is such a big deal.

    The point is that a phone is not a PC and everyone knows that except a couple of people here. I don’t have a tablet, but what I see there is that they are being used as fancy hand held game players most of the time. When they are not, they are being used as phones that cannot make calls. I don’t see the excitement there.

  8. oiaohm says:

    oldman
    “And even then, there is the little matter that phone and set top box manufacturers are not in the business of building general purpose computers, which is where they will need to be if they are going to start imbeddinig computing capabilities in these systems.”

    That is your problem. What is the difference between a PVR box with a harddrive and a general purpose computer. Not much really.

    These boxes are expanding to be android devices and other OS’s to follow.

    Quad and 8 core arm chips designs are getting very cheep. Oldman. Lot of arm pvr are already duel core all ready.

    Next question is what percentage of people really do heavy processing on there computer and require that functionality.

    Oldman serous-ally want makes a general purpose computer special? Not that much really. That is the problem. About the only thing special lacking is a highly powerful graphics card.

    Next round of arm chips come with pci-e support and sata controllers. So difference between general and these set top boxes is getting less every generation oldman.

    What reason is set top boxes expanding in power to be internet enabled of course. So they can play those online games and other stuff without biting the big one.

    The idea that set top boxs will not have the power todo heavy processing is wrong. Remember HP and DELL are both planing to have arm servers out.

    Its only a matter of time before the arm relations server processor chips are in the set top boxes and phones.

  9. oldman says:

    “The OS is irrelvant the tasks need to perform are the issue. Doing it at the lowest possible cost as well.”

    Nope. Getting a given task done is the issue. No matter how you slice it, you are not going to be doing heavy duty processing in a set top box.

    And even then, there is the little matter that phone and set top box manufacturers are not in the business of building general purpose computers, which is where they will need to be if they are going to start imbeddinig computing capabilities in these systems.

  10. oiaohm says:

    oldman
    “Nope. their phones do what hey need. tha fact that they run the commercial OS that is known as Android is irrelevant.”

    Yep that is the exact issue facing windows. As phones and tablets and set top boxes do what people need less than will want PC’s.

    The OS is irrelvant the tasks need to perform are the issue. Doing it at the lowest possible cost as well.

  11. oldman says:

    “People want what works and Android/Linux works for them.”

    Nope. their phones do what hey need. tha fact that they run the commercial OS that is known as Android is irrelevant.

  12. Well, I know better. People want what works and Android/Linux works for them. Knowing that Linux is under the hood may well encrouage a few OEMs and a few millions more users to try GNU/Linux. I don’t see any slowdown in activity in the FLOSS community. It is not about to lay down just because a few trolls say it is dead.

    When old-school OEMs and retailers see Android/Linux = NOT FROM M$ stuff flying off the shelves, don’t you think they will want to give it a try? Especially when you consider the tiny margins M$ leaves them. Why accept ~0% margins when you can have ~25% with FLOSS?

  13. Wahoo says:

    I do not agree that success with Android in phones and tablets is sure to translate into success with Linux on PCs. No one is drawing any such connection in the media, at least in terms of what the buying public might see, and the look and feel of a phone or tablet is a lot different than what people see with their PC.

    Android is visible because people associate it with Google and with ads from the phone makers and carriers. The word “Linux” is not noticeably associated with Android in the public eye IMHO.

  14. Wahoo wrote, “It is easy enough for anyone who wants Linux to get a copy and install it on a new or used PC.”

    That is very true but, unfortunately, most people feel installing an OS is magic/foreign/difficult so they do not even attempt it. This is one of several layers of FUD that holds people back. In my own case, GNU/Linux had been in the news but I was never thirsting to install it simply because I could tolerate those damned crashes. When it came to interfering with my students’ education, a line had been crossed and I tried GNU/Linux and liked it. We went from multiple freezes per day to none in a whole semester just for a bit of my time.

    I taught students how to install that other OS and most of them were just fine with pushing “enter” to take the defaults. I have given out many installation CDs to students but I regret not having given more. I have an idea for next summer to hand out CDs in public places to see how that goes.

    M$ conspired with OEMs to keep competing technology off retail shelves long enough that that is the norm in many places today. It was illegal when they did it but it took ten years to get slapped and the damage/mindset has not been undone. You can of course find Android/Linux because M$ has no dog in that fight. I predict that GNU/Linux will make its way onto retail shelves when people connect Android/Linux with GNU/Linux. If they are going to have x86 PCs they might as well use GNU/Linux. Same goes for ARM.

  15. Wahoo says:

    We agree on some things but I do not agree with that. People buy what they want to buy. It is easy enough for anyone who wants Linux to get a copy and install it on a new or used PC. But I think very few people ever do that. I have done it myself, if only to see what the fuss was about, and it was a simple matter of going to the Ubuntu website and clicking a couple of links to run the download and install.

    AFAICT, Linux works as well as Windows in terms of what it does as an OS. What is missing is anyone promoting Linux in ordinary sales channels. I never see any ads and there is nothing in the stores to catch my eye in the PC aisle. There are displays for Motorola tablets that have Android, though. All that is needed is for a PC vendor to push Linux at retail, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

  16. People don’t choose that other OS. It is forced on them by retailers.

  17. Phenom says:

    Pogson, according to your logic, 90% of PC users are loons.

    Majority is always normal. Keep that in mind.

  18. I think a lot of the commentators who come here praising M$ are loons. They ignore the reality of higher costs, higher maintenance, more vulnerabilities, the existence of lock-in, etc.

  19. Phenom says:

    Kolter, I am free to get my work done efficiently and without hassle, and earn my living. That’s enough freedom for me.

  20. Phenom says:

    Year, right. Lets ignore all official data, and trust a loon tech writer, as biased as a loon can be. A really convincing source.

  21. Kolter says:

    who needs freedom if you weren’t using it in the first place, eh Phenom?

    *Microsoft High Five*

  22. Phenom says:

    Btw, a bit of off-topic:
    http://m.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/microsoft-contributes-open-source-code-to-samba/9860

    Microsoft is really evil, indeed! How dare they support open source projects?

  23. Phenom says:

    Posgon, so far the lack of barriers didn’t help linux get beyound 1 % on PC desktop.

  24. On that we agree. M$ does not rule the roost although it tries. Still, this is one more layer of barriers to FLOSS, taking the time to get around the matter.

  25. Wahoo says:

    The good news here is that both Dell and HP are not providing a boot environment that locks out using Linux. It is likely that others will follow.

  26. Thanks. I was so outraged I did not pause to think of a title.

  27. Ray says:

    The article is missing a title Pog.

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